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Old 11-14-11, 10:38 AM   #1
wintermute
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Help an Old Fart

My 8-year old daughter wants a bmx bike for xmas, and I think she needs something better than some Walmart junk. She's been rollerblading since she was three, she skateboards and longboards, and she's an all-around maniac. Any good bikes/brands that would be good for her to grow with? Thanks.

Forgot to mention that she's about 53" tall.

The Boss (wife) said that the max price is $300.

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Old 11-14-11, 08:30 PM   #2
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Danscomp has a decent selection, but you really aren't going to get a really good bike for $300. The only way to get something good is to stretch the budget more.
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Old 11-14-11, 09:30 PM   #3
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Go to a dealership that carries Mongoose, Diamondback, or Haro BMX bikes.

- Slim

PS.

Check the Mongoose Website at:

www.mongoose.com/bmx/2012/bikes/dirt-street/2012-program-20

www.mongoose.com/bmx/2012/bikes/freestyle/2012-capture

Check the Haro Website at:

www.harobikes.com/bmx/bikes/200-series/200-1-2012

www.harobikes.com/bmx/bikes/200-series/200-2-2012

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Old 11-14-11, 09:31 PM   #4
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My 8-year old daughter wants a bmx bike for xmas, and I think she needs something better than some Walmart junk. She's been rollerblading since she was three, she skateboards and longboards, and she's an all-around maniac. Any good bikes/brands that would be good for her to grow with? Thanks.

Forgot to mention that she's about 53" tall.

The Boss (wife) said that the max price is $300.
i'd look into an SE bike. maybe an 18 inch, or 20 if you want her to grow into it. SE has complete bikes starting @ 259$. BTW - SE isn't a no-name company, they have a pro roster and quality goods. my nephews lil' ripper is so dialed. too legit.

just my 2cents.
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Old 11-14-11, 09:52 PM   #5
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You really want to strive for a 3 tube chromoly steel frame...
No, a full chromoly frame is wanted.

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i'd look into an SE bike.
SE's bikes are built for racing. OP sounds like they want something for all around use, not something specific.
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Old 11-14-11, 10:11 PM   #6
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Street rider says:

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No, a full chromoly frame is wanted.
Yeah, but not at that price...

They're gonna have to go hi-tensile all the way around for that price. Of course, full chromoly should be the goal, but at the very least, the three main tubes should be chromoly...

- Slim

PS.

Besides, she's just eight years old. By next year or so, she would have outgrown the bike. You know girls grow faster than boys at first..
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Old 11-14-11, 10:32 PM   #7
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Get the 20". It might be a tad big now, but she'll grow into it and will be able to ride for some years. Hell, I'm 40, 6', and 215 pounds, and I ride my 8 yr old's 20" Haro. It's a effing blast!!
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Old 11-14-11, 11:59 PM   #8
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Get the 20". It might be a tad big now, but she'll grow into it and will be able to ride for some years. Hell, I'm 40, 6', and 215 pounds, and I ride my 8 yr old's 20" Haro. It's a effing blast!!
You must know that it's an unforgiveable sin for a grown man to have an "effing blast" on his kids 20" Haro!

If you'd look it up, it's somewhere in the book of Genesis. I do believe in my heart of hearts, it's one of the commandments!

If I were you, I'd get down on my hands and knees right now and beg for forgiveness!



- Slim
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Old 11-15-11, 12:01 AM   #9
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she's just eight years old.
Which is why they go chromoly and 20", so that it will last her a few years minimum and still be pretty much indestructable, and worth the extra initial investment.
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Old 11-15-11, 12:14 AM   #10
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First take her to Walmart. Go over near the Bicycles Department somewhere and act like you're interested in something near the bikes. You know you're not paying any attention to the bikes ....See what type of bike she gravitates to. See what she really likes. She just might fool you! She's only eight years old, you know.

If she appears to be interested in a particular bike, then take it down for her and complain about it being such a waste of time or something after you take it down for her . At that time, get the approximate size and remember the type and style of bike she asked that you take down for her. As soon as you can, write it down on something (make sure you have a writing utensile and paper).

If she's interested in a BMX bike like you suspect, then call up a Mongoose, Haro, or Diamondback shop and ask them if they have anything like what she pointed out to you. Let them know about your budgetary concerns and make an appointment, if necessary (it probably won't be necessary).

You're most probably going to end up buying a hi-tensile steel BMX bike. That's exactly what Walmart sells too!

She's most probably going to outgrow this bike in just a couple of years...

- Slim

PS.

If she acts like she's interested in another type of bike, then just go to the nearest Schwinn dealership and get her something really close to what she picked out.

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Old 11-15-11, 12:48 AM   #11
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I think he can go to a Sports Authority or Dick's Sporting Goods and come away with better than the Wal-Mart selection, yet stay in the budget. Just me though, nothing wrong with these for an 8 year old ?

http://www.walmart.com/ip/20-Hyper-S...Specifications
http://www.walmart.com/catalog/produ...ndingMethod=rr
http://www.walmart.com/catalog/produ...ndingMethod=rr
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Old 11-15-11, 03:02 AM   #12
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I think he can go to a Sports Authority or Dick's Sporting Goods and come away with better than the Wal-Mart selection, yet stay in the budget. Just me though, nothing wrong with these for an 8 year old ?

http://www.walmart.com/ip/20-Hyper-S...Specifications
http://www.walmart.com/catalog/produ...ndingMethod=rr
http://www.walmart.com/catalog/produ...ndingMethod=rr
Walmart also has the DK Cleveland.

The DK Cleveland has a full chromoly steel frame. It will last for years. All you have to do is change the components as they wear out and you can keep it in the family for decades. Your daughter can keep it for your grandkids. All you have to do is keep it dry and indoors for storage. Bring it into the house every evening. Don't let it ever see the morning dew...

If you should purchase the DK Cleveland from Walmart, make certain that you immediately take it to the nearest bicycle shop, so that they can check all of the component installations. It will be well worth the extra $20 or so!

The DK Cleveland ~ $229

The bike shop should check the wheels and make sure that they're true. They should check to make sure that the wheels and crank are properly torqued. The pedals should be on the correct side of the bike and tightened to specs. The brakes should be installed properly. The handlebars should be good and tight. Tire pressure should be checked. The chain should be lubricated, tight, and aligned properly. The seat should be adjusted according to her comfort level and then sufficiently tightened. Everything that needs to be lubricated should be done at this time. Tell them to check the bottom bracket. It should be torqued and aligned properly.

* If you have a bike co-op in your area, you can do all of this yourself!

- Slim

PS.

* This is it!

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Old 11-15-11, 03:06 AM   #13
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Which is why they go chromoly and 20", so that it will last her a few years minimum and still be pretty much indestructable, and worth the extra initial investment.
You're right Street Rider!

If they could swing it, that would be the way to go. A full chromoly steel frame, all the way!

- Slim
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Old 11-15-11, 08:20 AM   #14
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Wow, thanks for the Cleveland suggestion. Anything I should be concerned with on this bike besides the build-up?
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Old 11-15-11, 10:47 AM   #15
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Wow, thanks for the Cleveland suggestion. Anything I should be concerned with on this bike besides the build-up?
No. However, I must caution you at this time. There have been a few consumer review complaints about chain slippage and other component malfunctions on this particular model of bicycle. As long as you immediately take this bicycle to a reputable bicycle shop with a qualified bike mechanic, you should be just fine. It's the frame that's worth the small sacrifice! It's difficult to find a full 100% chromoly BMX frame for under $450.

Walmart traditionally has unqualified people installing bicycle components on bicycle frames. However, your bike's components may have been installed correctly.

If the bike mechanic tells you that too many things are wrong with the bike, you should just return the bike immediately, and go with the original plan about contacting Haro, Diamondback, or Mongoose.

Good Luck!


- Slim

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Old 11-15-11, 11:04 AM   #16
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If thats what you get, ask for it in box so you can build it up yourself. Its really easy, and I can guarantee you'll do a much better job than some schmo at Wallyworld who doesn't really care about their job. And, yea, it should see the inside of a shop for the wheels at least.

And Slim, any 'chain slippage', would be because someone doesn't have proper chain tension, or because they're stupid and are riding around on a bent/broken sprocket. Also, DK isn't really DK anymore.
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Old 11-15-11, 11:25 AM   #17
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If thats what you get, ask for it in box so you can build it up yourself. Its really easy, and I can guarantee you'll do a much better job than some schmo at Wallyworld who doesn't really care about their job. And, yea, it should see the inside of a shop for the wheels at least.

And Slim, any 'chain slippage', would be because someone doesn't have proper chain tension, or because they're stupid and are riding around on a bent/broken sprocket. Also, DK isn't really DK anymore.
Street Rider is right, again! You could just build the bike yourself and then take it to your friendly neighborhood bike shop mechanic. I think sometimes, Walmart has its greeters to install components.

* If you have a bike co-op nearby, you can build it yourself at the co-op!

And Street Rider, 'chain slippage' could also be due to the wrong chain intially installed or wrong chain length...

- Slim

PS.

I didn't know that DK had changed...I think I'll take the decorations down then...

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Old 11-15-11, 01:29 PM   #18
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Let me try to narrow this down a bit and become less confused.

Brands: When I was a kid, Mongoose and Hutch were the stuff. Now as I understand it Mongoose just makes cheap Walmart junk. Is DK now the same way, as I've interpreted some people as saying on this thread?

Sizing: My girl's going to likely grow up to be a peanut - stay away from the 20.5" frames? This really narrows down the options.

Frames: The high tensile frames - I know that they're heavier, but are they less structurally sound than the chromoly? What about frames that are partially hi-tens and partially chromoly?
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Old 11-15-11, 04:48 PM   #19
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Let me try to narrow this down a bit and become less confused.

Brands: When I was a kid, Mongoose and Hutch were the stuff. Now as I understand it Mongoose just makes cheap Walmart junk. Is DK now the same way, as I've interpreted some people as saying on this thread?

Sizing: My girl's going to likely grow up to be a peanut - stay away from the 20.5" frames? This really narrows down the options.

Frames: The high tensile frames - I know that they're heavier, but are they less structurally sound than the chromoly? What about frames that are partially hi-tens and partially chromoly?
The only thing wrong with large department outlet stores are the cheap components that are placed on the bicycle frames and the incompetent component installations performed on their bicycles. Your local bicycle shops have trained mechanics that install higher quality components on their bicycle frames. The frames themselves are just fine. That said, though most of the components are cheap, they are completely functional for the most part, for a finite period of time. Once those components wear out, you then can replace those cheap components with a much higher grade of componentry.

Hi-Tensile steel is not as strong as chromoly steel. It therefore, needs to be "built up", requiring it to have slightly larger tube diameters and thicker tubular walls for greater material strength. This in turn, makes it heavier. Though steel is more tough and durable than all of the other frame materials, other than titanium, in its hi-tensile form, it's not quite as tough and durable as its chromoly version of the alloy. Its because of this extra tough characteristic that chromoly frames can be made with thinner tubular walls with smaller diameters and their tubes can be butted. Butted meaning that the ends of the tubes are generally thicker than the middle portions. This feature allows much material to be shaved off of the tubes that make up the bicycle frame, therefore rendering lighter tubes and subsequently a bicycle with less mass. Less mass, means that your daughter will be better able the exercise greater control of the bicycle both while riding it, and off of it, when transporting the bike to a different destination. Of course, hi-tensile steel is stronger than aluminum but not quite as strong as chromoly steel. It will be harder for your daughter to manuever. Hi-tensile steel bikes are generally made with less quality control. A better, tougher, stronger frame will be experienced with chromoly.

The Haro bike company specializes in BMX bikes exclusively. The major BMX bicycle manufacturers generally cater to the poor and the middle-class BMX cyclist. Of course, not much is required to make BMX bikes, since most are single speed without any suspension system. Therefore, Haro, Diamondback, and Mongoose all sell their lowest hi-tensile BMX at around $200-$300 and they sell their chromoly steel grade bikes which are at the highest or best performance level, at around $600 or $700.

- Slim

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Old 11-15-11, 05:59 PM   #20
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Danscomp has a decent selection, but you really aren't going to get a really good bike for $300. The only way to get something good is to stretch the budget more.
Thus far, the best deals that I can see are the 2011 version of Stolen's Heist from Street Rider's Danscomp and Walmart's DK Cleveland BMX bike. Both are in Chromoly. The Stolen's Heist lists for $339, but needs to be assembled, properly. That might cost you extra, if your LBS does it. Since its already starting out above budget, it could prove to be a financial burden.

The DK Cleveland OTOH, starts out at $239 and if checked by a qualified mechanic, it most probably won't go beyond the budget. Now if you're thinking about getting hi-tensile steel, then just go to one of the websites of Haro, Mongoose, or Diamondback and find a dealer near you with the dealer locator. If you do that, you can get a LBS to assemble a BMX bike for you and you'll still most likely be under budget.

- Slim

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Old 11-15-11, 06:02 PM   #21
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And Street Rider, 'chain slippage' could also be due to the wrong chain intially installed or wrong chain length...


I didn't know that DK had changed...I think I'll take the decorations down then...
Wrong length meaning tension, as I already said. And size wouldn't really matter, because there really isn't much of a difference between 3/32 and 1/8. And if you have DK stuff up, leave it. I'd imagine its from back when they were actually a good company.
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Old 11-15-11, 06:45 PM   #22
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Street rider says:

Quote:
Wrong length meaning tension, as I already said. And size wouldn't really
matter, because there really isn't much of a difference between 3/32 and 1/8.
And if you have DK stuff up, leave it. I'd imagine its from back when they were
actually a good company.
We're on the same team, Streets! ... Relax...

I dunno about DK, now. I don't really like to go all in when I'm the least bit skeptical. Know what I'm say'n ...?

- Slim

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Old 11-16-11, 07:32 AM   #23
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They used to be reputable. I don't know what happened to them, but i bet that was sort of like Haro too. They were a great company, making great products, and then all of a sudden they were off the radar. Hell, Dans doesn't even stock DK stuff anymore.
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Old 11-16-11, 08:06 PM   #24
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Is your daughter going to jump the bike or ride it like a normal kid ? If the latter, I don't see why a hi ten frame wouldn't last. A bmx frame is short and squatty, definitely sturdy enough for the average 8 year old to ride to school or around the neighborhood. In that case a few pounds makes little difference, bmx's aren't built for speed anyway. And a 50 lb kid isn't going to abuse & destroy a bmx bike anyway. DK has an extensive lineup of products at Wal-Mart that are similarly tiered for pricing.
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Old 11-17-11, 09:01 AM   #25
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My daughter isn't a normal kid. She wants to jump it. She wants the bike specifically for tricks. She has her banana seat "Brady Bunch" bike (her words) for cruising (the kid likes retro stuff as well). We're blessed with a really large driveway and she wants me to build her some ramps. As a father, I go into this endeavor with mixed blessings, but she's already rollerblading and skateboarding so this is just a logical progression.

I went to the LBS and they actually had some really good prices, including $350 (neg.) for last year's Verde Vex.
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